Thursday, 27 April 2017

4

May 13th, 2014
When I first got Miss Oswin in 2014, I was told that they found her in a garage with a small litter. She was about a year old. But when exactly she was born nobody knows.

April 27th, 2017
Fast forward to 2015 and we decided that she could share her birthday with the King of the Netherlands: King Willem Alexander. Ever since, Miss Oswin has celebrated her birthday on April 27th. 

The birthday card Miss Oswin got from Madi and Mom. Thank you so much.
And happy birthday to Madi's Dad!
Guess what: today is April 27th! So, it's Miss Oswin's birthday!! Happy Birthday Ozzie. 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Opposable

Apparently we differ from most other animals in the fact that we have opposable thumbs. So we can grab stuff and get dressed and eat with cutlery and do lots of other things. However, nobody ever speaks about the index finger and how important that finger actually is. 

Until you can't use it. Because it hurts to bend the tip. And it's a bit swollen. And it interferes with your grabbing stuff and getting dressed and eating with cutlery and doing lots of other things.

To all those index fingers out there who don't get the attention they deserve: 

You are great.
You are a great help.
You make my hand look good.
You are needed.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-14

This is what I saw when I woke up early this morning. Definitely a reason to head straight back to bed! It's nearing the end of April for goodness sake!!!

Friday, 21 April 2017

Elephants

NOT an elephant...
I was doing my job today, but at some point I wasn't doing a good job of it. I had driven straight past a stop where people were due to get off the bus. One of them came forward and said 'we want to get off'. I stopped, apologised and told him I had been thinking of elephants. He must have thought I was mad (quite a generally held opinion by the way, I don't worry about it too much) and got off.

Now, those elephants live in my wall. They are small and blue and have pink dots (some have yellow dots). Their tail is very short and they like rassspberry jam. Miss Oswin is about their size to give you an idea about how big they actually are. 

In other news: next week I am getting serious. Really serious. And I mean REALLY! On Monday, I will go jogging. Then on Tuesday, a spinning class (cycling on a stationary bike, very fast). On Wednesday we will probably start our annual rowing training. On Thursday another jogging evening. On Friday it will be chocs and telly, it just has to be!

During our very first race in 2013
The jogging is in aid of the first jogging race of the season. I did it last year (well, I trudged) in just over an hour. Of course it is also in aid of the upcoming triathlon. There will be four spinning lessons in total, throughout May, so that will hopefully help me with the cycling bit of the triathlon. And the rowing is of course in aid of our annual rowing race. Until now we've always come in first or second (out of two), but we're always on for a win of course.

So, elephants and training. I wonder whether that rassspberry jam is any good?

Monday, 17 April 2017

Beastly

I don't often go to the cinema. I want to and I know which films I want to see, but in the end, I end up buying the dvd. So, the last time I'd been, was early last year, to see the Swedish film about a man called Ove (raved about the book and film on this blog before). But I really really really wanted to see Beauty and the Beast. 

And last night I did. With a friend. The place was nearly full with a lot of women (and a few men/boys who were dragged along) and the pre-film noise was quite high. Fortunately once the film started, it quietened down and we could enjoy the film. 

Because I live in Norway, films are not dubbed, but subtitled and I must say: they were awful! For the singing parts at least. They had made their own rhymes that did not fit the original songs. Fortunately I do understand a bit of English and was able to enjoy what they actually sang. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the lead Emma Watson who had a lovely singing voice, it took me ages to figure out who her father was played by (Kevin Kline) and the fact that the Beast actually turned out to be quite nice looking (as opposed to the animated version, where he is simply dreadful), only added to the enjoyment. 

It was a good night at the cinema and I know that once the dvd comes out: I will get it. Although not from Norway!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-13

Some photos I took on Friday. All of the flowers blooming in the garden right now!




Friday, 14 April 2017

Miss Oswin goes outside

Miaow

It's been a long time since I last wrote, but nothing much happened during the winter. I slept a bit, I ate a bit and sometimes I went outside a bit. But it's spring now and when it's nice weather I just want to go outside and find mice. 

It took some time, but I have now trained Mara quite well. She will let me go outside and when she (or our landlord) opens the door again, I come in. Well... sometimes, because there are times when you just have to explore a bit more!

Today I was about to come in, when Mara closed the door again! She was going to take some photos she said and then I could come in. Well, of course I had to see what she was going to take photos of and it turned out it was yours truly. Mostly. She also took some of some silly flowers, to be used on Sunday she said.

Can we go in now? I am hungry!
So, here are some photos of me today. Enjoying the sun.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Cherry tree

So, these questions then. Were they difficult? Weeeell....

The first question was a bit of a trap question. As Yamini rightly pointed out, it was at the time the British 'owned' India and heads of state being what they are (hungry for bigger titles it seems), Queen Victoria thought it would be nice to be empress of India as well as being queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Vicky became Empress of India in 1876 and was so until her death in 1901. My given dates were 1893 to 1897, which fall within her reign. As I said, a bit of a trap there. Plus I talked about emperor and Vicky of course was empress, since she was of the female woman persuasion type. 

However, I think we can all safely say that Yamini got the right answer, which was Queen Victoria. 

My second question has honestly been on my mind for years. I think the first time I mentioned it, was on a road trip with my sister in Wales. Which was somewhere in 1995 I believe. We were driving up a hill and the road seemed to go nowhere, just up into heaven. Whatever happened to the other six heavens? Well, I expected answers (and rolling eyes, like my sister's), but definitely not Yamini's answer! 

It was probably the longest comment ever on my blog, not counting all those spam comments of course, but it was very informative. Although it did only give us one version of the seven heavens. So, just in case you want to read up some more: here is a Wikipedia link to the seven heavens which explains a bit more.

After those two questions and its answers, I think we all would say that Yamini is the clear winner and deserving of the eternal fame and a klem (which is a Norwegian hug) from Brom, who is very excited!! The photo is NOT photoshopped, since they did actually meet in 2015!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Nearly

It's nearly Easter. Bunnies, eggs, chocolate, lamb. Apparently. For me it means a well needed break. Well, I could do with the chocolate eggs as well. Or chocolate bunnies. Chocolate lambs are fine too. Then again, give me a chocolate santa and I will be okay... 

For some reason the Easter break is a period to have home quizzes here in Norway and a lot of shops sell quiz-books filled with hard and not so hard questions. Which got me thinking (yes, I do that on occasion, don't make too much out of it please). And that thinking got me to two questions I want to pose to you. 

Question 1: Who was emperor of India between 1893 and 1897?
Question 2: Whatever happened to heavens 1 through 6? 

Do you think you know the answers? Write them on a postcard and send them write it in the comments. The winner gets of course eternal glory and a virtual klem by Brom!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-12

Thanks to my friend who took this photo while sweeping the basement in that little cottage in the Norwegian countryside last year. Finally. A spider!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Taxes and death

Well, I am not going to talk about death just yet. I have the goal of reaching 120 and I am not even halfway yet. Up till then, I will have to pay taxes. Even in Norway! About one third of my wages is taxes to both national and local authorities. They use that money to build bus stops where there were perfectly fine bus stops to begin with and to close roads for a month and then not open them for six. 

However, once the tax year ends (December 31st), there may be a bit of money in the pot that is due to come back to me. And I know it is, since I pay in extra each month. I get by fine on the wages minus that extra, so getting it back is a nice bonus. However, once the returns go online, it is nearly impossible to see them. Everybody wants to know how much they get back. Or in some cases what the tax bomb will be if they have to pay back. 

So, patience was the name of the game yesterday. And finally, just before I went to bed, I was able to log in to my personal site and see that yes, I would get back. A nice amount as well, not huge, but nice enough. Of course I won't get it back immediately. The tax office will pay me when they get around to it. Which could be anything from June to October. Mind you, the later the better really, since their interest rates are higher than my saving account's rates! 

Oh, and just so you know: I can NOT see anybody else's returns, nor can they see mine. Unless there is hacking involved. But people here in Norway are quite open about money and will gladly tell you how much they get back/have to pay. 

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Not even a spider!

It has been a long time since I last wrote on my blog. Two weeks in fact, not counting last week's Photo on Sunday. And the main reason for that is work. The past few weeks I've worked long shifts and it's taking its toll. When I get home after work, I look at my computer, shrug and then plonk myself down in front of the telly. I certainly don't want to dig for inspiration. 

The long shifts will continue through this week and then next week I have some time off. In fact, I will only have to work on Monday. Which means I will have time to finally get back to my genealogy, knit some more and perhaps go on a hike/ride or two. 

In other news, this year's tax returns are done, but everybody and their aunt want to see and I can't get on to my site. I think I get something back, since I pay in extra every month for that express purpose. I will have to check again a bit later, when the rest has seen it. 

So, that is it for now. I hope to get back to blogging a bit more from now on.  

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-11

A little teaser today. L 002 in the making. I will soon reveal more.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Club Med again

Since I am still feeling poorly (the head you know, the rest is okayish), I thought I would post some more photos of my time at Club Med, season 1. The photo at the top was taken in my shared bedroom, probably by my German roommate Claudia. There were three beds in our room, but I think we only had a third girl in there for about a week or so! 

I worked at the Shoopy Club for the whole season, bar one week, when I was dispatched to the next age group up: 6-7 year olds. After that I came back to the 4-5 year olds and never left. In fact, I became the 'manager' of that group. It didn't mean more money though, just more work! I am not in the photo, but two of my regular gang were.

In this photo you can see me and two other adults: Monica (Italian) and Jochen (German). We basically spent our whole season with each other. The girl in front of Jochen was the daughter of the 'Chef de Village', which meant that even though she was only three, she was allowed to be in the Shoopy Club. And that she was there every single week as well, from beginning to end.

A quiet moment at the beginning of the season. When there were only a few children present, this was possible, but during the height of the season, the numbers would go up to around 50-70 and we had our hands full. Besides, there were several nationalities as well: French, Italian, German, Swiss, Dutch, Belgian, British and many more. That meant that reading to the whole group was not possible because of all the different languages. 

Later in the summer there would be something called 'Catch the Clown'. I was the clown and the object was to throw me in the swimming pool. The children would chase me round it and they always managed. Of course. Looking back it was quite dangerous, because I would be barefoot or wearing flip-flops and it was always slippery. No accidents though, either for me or the children. 

Monday, 20 March 2017

Too soon

Last Friday I was thinking out loud at work. It had been over a month since my last seriously bad headache. Which occurred at my parents'. I had had one since, but it had been quite mild. I was therefor quite pleased, because it showed that the higher fluid intake was working. Of course... I spoke too soon!

Because the day before (on Thursday) I had started getting a scratchy throat. Swallowing hurt. Nothing else though. On the Friday, I started to sniff and needed to make sure I had enough tissues with me. On Saturday, the scratchy throat was okay, but the sniffing was worse and by the end of the day my sinuses were clogged, as was my nose and my head started to not feel quite so good.

On Sunday I woke with clogged sinuses, a headache and a red, raw and running nose. By 4.30pm, I called work to say I wasn't coming in today. I had to repeat myself three times before he heard properly due to my scratchy voice.

So, that's where I am today: at home with a headache and clogged sinuses and a red, raw and blocked nose. 

In the photo you can see my 'medication'. Tissues, salt water solution (to combat the blocked nose), paracetamol (to combat the headache) and lip balm (to combat both my dry lips and my raw nose). 

*Hatchoo*

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-10

I got some extra veggies
Even if I didn't buy anything at the Swedish shop, than at least I would have to have the Swedish meatballs for lunch. Especially since I had never had them, at least not at the Swedish shop! So, I got the Swedish meatballs. And for afters a nice crème brulée. 

I did buy things though. Partly for a friend who had asked me to get a few things and yes, partly for me. I got a lovely standing reading lamp, but silly me, I got the wrong light bulb. I will have to get one that fits tomorrow. Plus I got some glasses, three bins and some scented candles, one of which smells like romance. Apparently.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Some more Club Med

These photos were all taken during my first season at Club Med. You can see how tanned I am, although my nose never got any other colour than red for some reason. The top photo is taken during a 'living painting' I think. I can't remember drinking whatever it was I had in my hands.

Being in the mini-club, meant I had to do shows with them as well. Mostly they were tried and tested, but this one was more or less thought up by yours truly: a tiger show with me as the tiger handler. And no, the stick was purely decoration!!

During the last few months of the season, several other shows starting popping up and the big circus show was one of them. I am in the photo, although not really recognisable. I am the one in green at the front. Please don't ask me to do that move now, I will need an ambulance!

One of my favourite shows was the fire and water show. The butcher (who lived upstairs from me) had a fire-eating act and I was in several routines in the water. Not sure what the plot was, but it probably looked nice from the shore.

This photo was taken during the same show. I always tried to get the blue outfit (there were only two), so I had to come in early to bag it. I am slap bang in the middle here. 

This photo was taken right at the beginning of the season. I know, because of what I am wearing. The further in the season, the skimpier the bikini really! And yes, that was my work outfit! Not too shabby. Mind you, if I were to wear it in my current job, I would probably be hospitalised with severe frostbite!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Club Med

Second from the right
A lifetime ago I worked for two seasons for Club Med. The first one was during the summer and was on Sicily (Italy). I worked in the mini-club and loved nearly every minute of it. But I also took part in the extra-curricular activities like shows. I was always in the chorus and never up front, but it was great fun nonetheless. 

Yep, that's me up front there
My second season was during the winter (they had wanted to send me to some Caribbean island during the winter, can you imagine??) and it was in Tignes in the French Alps. I learned to ski there, although I never did again after leaving. Here as well I was in several shows, most notably the Rocky Horror Show (choreographed by one of the ski teachers), where I was still in the chorus, but in the front row, much to the chagrin of the ordinary choreographer, who had been dispatched to be behind me! 

In both locations we had to dress up/down as well. Red/white evenings, flowery evenings and several other themes. It meant a lot of face painting (for the flowers anyway) and a lot of wardrobe exchange with other GO's (Gentil Organisateur) who might have exactly what I was looking for, but didn't have or wanted to buy. 

And then there were the living paintings. Fortunately I wasn't often part of them, because especially at the second location they were in the lobby of the hotel. About ten meters from the front door. During winter. With snow and wind and cooooold! This one time though, I got roped in for a '1001 nights' tableau. Which meant not a lot of clothes and sitting still for about an hour. I do have a photo of more the 'painting' as well, but it's stuck in an album which is stuck in a box which is stuck at the bottom of a pile of other boxes. 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Groan

I think I will write about something and find I can't find enough words or interesting thoughts on paper (ie type on my keyboard to see it on my computer screen). I then think I will write about something else and again I end up with a blank screen. 

I have tried several times over the past few days and each time: blank. I could write about chocolate and how I try to eat enough to make up for the years that I was virtually without (I am not progressing far, although I am doing my best). I could try and write about my lack of training during the last few weeks. No swimming, cycling or walking has been done for a while now and it needs to change fast. 

I could try and write about our new rota, but that means writing about work and that is boring. Or I could try and write about one of the three projects I have going on now. The first one of course is the two books I am writing about my family, although I have not done much lately. I had better start again if I want them finished by the summer!

My second project is the triathlon that takes place in June and in which I am going to be participating. As I said: I need to get back to training. And my final project is something that is taking up my evenings and it's all about mice. As soon as I have more to tell/show on that project, I will let you know. 

In the mean time however, I have managed to get four paragraphs on my screen and am working on my fifth. Better find some photos now!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-9

As we were relaxing after a few hours of hard labour (we're bus drivers, remember?), I looked out of the window of my apartment and saw a bird I had never seen before. My camera was of course all the way at the other end of the room, but fortunately my friend had her phone ready and was willing to take a few photos for me. 

To me it looked like a very puffed up robin, but apparently it is a bullfinch (goudvink). Both Mr and Mrs were in the tree (well, he was on the fence). I did go for my camera, but as I got back to the window, Mr had just flown. So, the photo I took is not as good. 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Moving

Yes, there was an axe involved. Albeit a small one!
A few weeks ago the person who owns the place where I have my things in storage sent me a message: could I please empty it? Well, not right then I couldn't, but I would do so at the first possible opportunity. Which turned out to be today.

I had asked around on Facebook if there was somebody willing to help me do just that and one person answered. Mr Crikey himself would have loved to help he said, but was a bit far away. I think that with over a week, he could have made something happen, but alas, we were only two this morning.

My friend had the use of a pick-up and a small trailer. The problem was, she was not allowed to drive with a trailer. I was allowed, but was really bad at reversing. Problem solved: I would drive, she would reverse.

It was tough wood, but my friend made short work of it.
She just hit the sides of the dresser and done!
We got to the storage and I thought I would at least try and reverse. And for some reason I actually managed it quite well. Which was good news. The stuff in storage was the bad news: it was all mouldy and icky and my friend had to jump back on one or two occasions (spiders). But, we managed to get loads in the car and trailer and off we set to the dump.

There I had to pay before being allowed to throw away. I saw an absolutely beautiful dresser in great nick, but decided to leave it where it was and instead add my stuff to it. We then drove back for the second load. The heavy and large items. After having deposited those as well, we took the trailer back home and with only the pick-up and my car we went to pick up the last of the items: garden furniture. 

So, the stuff I have now, is the stuff I have. Nothing in storage at all. Mind you, we're going to that Swedish place next week...